Harry Kane proved his worth and status of one of the best strikers in the world during today’s game of the EFL Cup semifinals. His adroitness provided the only goal in this event and gave Tottenham a 1-0 win over the local rivals, Chelsea.
That single goal happened in the 26th minute and it was from the penalty kick.
Right out of nowhere, one of Tottenham’s defenders sent a long high pass down the field towards Kane, who cleverly avoided the offside trap and ran after the ball into the box. Kepa tried to reach it before Spurs’ striker, but the Spaniard was too late and the only thing he could do was to bring down Tottenham’s captain.
The referee Michael Oliver consulted VAR and showed only a yellow card to Chelsea’s goalkeeper and caused for protests from both the fans and home team players, who expected for Kepa to be ejected. He did award a penalty for the hosts.
“I played to the whistle and nicked it round the keeper, it was a clear penalty. VAR is there for a reason and they got it right.” Spurs star said after the game.
Think Harry Kane dived for that penalty? Look closer… pic.twitter.com/2U4YbWItuP
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) January 8, 2019
Kane was ruthless and the Spurs were 1-0 up.
Chelsea’s manager Maurizio Sarri was very displeased after the game and stated that the goal was not regular because of Kane’s clear offside position. The Italian spoke to the media and said that he watched the replay carefully and that there is no doubt that the assistant referee made a huge mistake.
“A few minutes ago I watched the video from our camera. It was offside. Our camera was in line with Harry Kane.” Sarri told a bit furiously and continued, “Offside with the head, the knee. Offside. It was really important the linesman carried on running, he had a big impact on our defenders.”
Here is Maurizio Sarri being shown that Harry Kane was offside. pic.twitter.com/n3ToKykwZr
— Pys (@CFCPys) January 8, 2019
There wasn’t too much action in the opening minutes of the first halftime. The only notable thing was Harry Kane’s shot from a distance, which was saved by the Spanish goalkeeper Kepa.
After that, the game was mostly taking place between two boxes, without any serious chances.
The goal was the signal for Chelsea’s players to start attacking more seriously, which they did. Until the end of the half, they hit the post twice, after N’Golo Kante’s, and Hudson-Odoi’s efforts.
In those moments, the Blues had a solid initiative, but nothing came out of it.
The second half continued where the first one stopped. Chelsea attacked, and had more chances to level the score than their rivals, but in the end, there was no goal.
Andreas Christensen had the best chance, but his header went beside to goal. Paulo Gazzaniga, Spurs’ goalkeeper, was magnificent on several occasions, and his reactions kept Tottenham in this contest.
⚽️ CHANCE FOR CHELSEA ⚽️
What a chance! Christensen is unmarked at the back post with the goal gaping, but he can't sort his feet out and skews it wide.
— The Football Schedule (@UKFootballTimes) January 8, 2019
Another controversial situation happened after 58 minutes of play, Danny Rose handballed inside Tottenham’s box, and instead of awarding the penalty to Chelsea, Michael Oliver, the head official in this meeting, signaled for the game to continue.
It made Blues’ players very mad, but there wasn’t any change in his decision.
The hosts managed to hold out until the end and preserve this lead before the second leg at Stamford Bridge, which will be played on 24th of January.
Their coach Mauricio Pocettino admitted that Chelsea played better in the second half, but said that overall, he is happy with the result.
“We were very competitive. Chelsea pushed us in some periods and they have a lot of quality. I am so pleased because we scored and then competed well. They pushed us to play deeper, and if we linked up a bit better, we could have scored another goal but I am happy.”
His spurs will be playing against Manchester United next Sunday, in the game of the round. United has been red-hot since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sat on the bench, and this guarantees a hard task for Tottenham.
Chelsea hosts the unpredictable Newcastle.